The Legislature adopted ESSB 6050 in 2005 (RCW 43.08.290) to provide financial assistance to cities and counties. A portion of the State real estate excise tax (REET) funds the distributions. The Department determines eligibility in September of each year and makes quarterly distributions in January, April, July, and October. Each quarter, the Department divides the city-county assistance account balance in half and distributes the appropriate amount to eligible cities and counties. When necessary the Department proportionately reduces the distributions for insufficient funds or distributes excess revenue based on population.
Complex formulas that depend on local sales tax revenues relative to the statewide average and other criteria depending on population determine the distributions. See the links below for summarized distribution formulas.
Beginning in January 2010, SB 5511 changed the distribution to improve the accuracy of the distribution amounts cities and counties receive from the city-county assistance account and to clarify the data used in the calculations. The statutory amendments due to this legislation better assist local jurisdictions with their annual budget cycles.
Summarized distribution formulas:
For questions about city-county assistance distributions, contact Diana Tibbetts at Dianat@dor.wa.gov or 360-534-1520.